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Project #Super71 - Strut Brace Repair

This is a section of the Super Beetle that truly makes it unique but can also become a problem area over time. As most of you are well aware, "Standard" VW Beetles use a Torsion Bar suspension in the front that is attached to the frame head. It's an extremely strong and reliable spring system but doesn't provide the best ride and has a fairly large turning radius. In 1971 Volkswagen (Under the direction of Kurt Lotz ) created the 1302 "Super Beetle". This new version of the Bug was an attempt to modernize the original VW Beetle design in an effort to provide an improved driving experience and comfort level. The key component was the use of MacPherson Struts on the front end. The Super Beetle was fitted with new strut towers that were welded to the inner wheel well area and over time these components were subject to rust. This brings us up to speed with the front end of our Project #Super71.

Project #Super71 - Strut Brace Repair 1

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Now on with the repairs... The strut brace was already removed earlier. We had to drill out all the old spot welds and that process left us with a bit of a mess. Before we can weld it back in place we had to do two things. One was already completed in my last blog post and the second was to clean and repair the actual brace itself. We used a wire wheel to remove any old paint and rust, then we used a hammer to correct the miss-shaped metal. After that we were ready to fill in the holes that were created during the removal process.

Project #Super71 - Strut Brace Repair 2

Project #Super71 - Strut Brace Repair 3

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Project #Super71 - Strut Brace Repair 5

Project #Super71 - Strut Brace Repair 6

Large holes were welded shut using some metal slugs, and small holes were filled in by placing a copper backing to the area and closing in the hole with the welding material only. With some additional grinding and hammering we now had a solid strut brace that was able to be welded back in place. By matching up some known locations and referencing and measuring the brace on the other side we could clamp everything in place and weld it back onto the car. Since the metal for the brace is a lot thicker than the sheet metal, we could crank up the temperature on the welder. It's important that we get a deep weld on this component as we don't wan't the stress of the suspension to break any bad welds over time.

Project #Super71 - Strut Brace Repair 6

Project #Super71 - Strut Brace Repair 7

Project #Super71 - Strut Brace Repair 8

Like most of our fabrication, once the welding was done it was ground down and covered with a coat of black paint. Time to move on to the next section.

Project #Super71 - Strut Brace Repair 9

Thanks for following the build. Please leave your feedback, questions and comments below.


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